‘Steve’, A Surly Troll Touring Setup for Africa… Bikepacking Style.

A quick post showing the final Africa setup for ‘Steve’, as Virginia named her blue Troll, which I think she came up with so she could boldly announce, ‘My ass hurts, must’ve been that long ride on Steve.’

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If it was mine, I think I’d name it Babe the Blue Ox, or Smurfette, but to each his or her own. There are still a few loose ends to tie up, but for the most part, Steve is ready to pack up and toss on the plane.

All in all, this kit will probably drop the overall weight from her Central America setup by 30+ pounds. At the heart of it is a long-flap saddlebag, hand built by Virginia herself, which will snugly fit her clothing and toiletries, among other sundries. Up front, the Revelate Sweet Roll will house her sleeping bag and rain gear. Her sleeping pad, pillow and a couple other odds and ends will go in a drybag mounted on the rear rack. Steve will also have three bottle cages and an extra large cage on the right fork leg for additional water when necessary. The left fork leg will have an oversized cage to use for food when needed. God luck and good speed, Steve.

Surly Troll - Bikepacking with Rolhoff, saddlebag and Revelate handlebar bag - RAL 5009

Pink and camo go together like fish and icing.

Surly Troll - Bikepacking with Rolhoff, saddlebag and Revelate handlebar bag - RAL 5009

Junk in the trunk.

Surly Troll - Longflap saddlebag

Yes, those are cupcakes on the bias binding. Still, a fine looking piece of waxed canvas luggage, handcrafted by Virginia. More on DIY saddlebags, soon.

Surly Troll - Revelate handlebar bag

A nice Revelate Accessory pocket, in Digi-camo.
Surly Troll - Bike Touring with Rolhoff, saddlebag and Revelate handlebar bag

I am pretty sure that this colorful ensemble will look like a Hula Popper to onlooking lions.

Surly Troll - Bike Touring

Steve in the buff. Custom coated RAL 5009, which I believe is the exact color that attracts tsetse flies.

Steve, the Surly Troll, parts list

  • Frame: 16″ Surly Troll (custom coated RAL 5009)
  • Rear Hub: Rohloff Speedhub 500/14
  • Front Hub: Shimano XT Disc
  • Wheels: Velocity Cliff Hangers
  • Cranks: Shimano Deore LX (oldschool and bulletproof)
  • Ring: Surly Stainless 38t
  • Chain: Wippermann 808
  • Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 2″ / Schwalbe Marathon XR 2″
  • Bottom Bracket: SKF
  • Brakes: Avid BB7 / Avid levers
  • Headset: Chris King Nothreadset (pink beotch)
  • Handlebar: Random brand traded for her Trekking bars in El Salvador
  • Stem: Easton EA70
  • Saddle: Selle Anatomica Titanico
  • Seatpost: Easton EA70
  • Pedals: Blackspire El Gordo
  • Front Rack: Salsa Minimalist
  • Rear Rack: Salsa Minimalist
  • Other Accessories: Carradice Bagman QR; Salsa Rack Lock Seatpost Clamp

Surly Troll - bike touring

Virginia’s Troll as it was set up in Mexico and Central America.

Surly Troll - Bike Touring - Rolhoff, saddlebag and Revelate handlebar bag - RAL 5009

  • D$

    That’s a fine lookin machine!!

  • Thanks. Business in the front, picnic in the back…

  • Sascha

    Watch out for that bloke Bilharzia too… ;)

  • Yeah, no kidding…

  • Donald

    Surly makes some awesome touring machines! The ECR would be a cool touring bike also, just don’t know about availability of tubes and tires in remote locations.

  • Yeah, 29er tubes can be a problem in some places. I’ll be taking the risk myself when we are in Africa. Each of us will have 4 spares and I’ll be taking an extra tire.

  • simon kirk

    I have had my Troll for 6 months now and I love it to bits, have you had any experience with the Troll on Dirt Wizards (26+) or running it as a 650B?

  • I have not… but I love my Dirt Wizards on my Krampus. I have heard folks digging the DWs on a Troll; tubeless would be awesome…

  • simon kirk

    Tubeless would be incredible, I will give it a go and let you know how it rides, Thanks Logan.

  • Stan Berry

    Love the blue! Just got the Dually/Dirt Wizard combo rockin on my troll and its pretty solid!

  • Wakatel Lu’um

    Hey Logan,

    I have a Surly Troll and I’m looking for some wider tyres around 2.5″ or wider, do you recommend any particular brand or tyre that might suit and still give good puncture resistance for touring/bikepacking…thanks in advance.

  • Hi Logan, could you tell me how tall is Virginia? I want to build a Troll for my wife and she is 5’5″ (short legs), and I am debating between a XS (14″) and a S (16″)… Nice build!

  • Sure. She’s 5’8″ with a long torso and relatively short legs. This bike was too small for her (she was always struggling with fit). She now rides an 18″ frame.

  • Thanks. Then I guess a 16″ should be OK. Every time I see a picture of a XS seems more suitable for kids than anybody else… But I am a bit afraid of the standover height (29.3): she is more used to city bikes with “step-through” top tube. The problem is that I can´t test the frame with her before, because it is supposed to be a surprise! Thanks again.

  • Jacob Spangler

    I know this is an old post, but Surly now has the Extraterrestrial 2.5 made for just that. I love them!

  • viola

    Hi Eneko, was the 16″ frame ok finally? I’m 160cm (also short legs long torso) and I’m hesitating between an XS or S frame, also respect to the long top tube.

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